THE organiser of Oxfordshire’s first music festival of the year has thanked revellers and staff for making it a success.

Wilderness Festival attracted more than 20,000 people to Cornbury Park, near Charlbury, for its star-studded 10th annual event.

The Covid-safe four-day party, which drew to a close on Sunday night, featured headline sets by live drum and bass act Rudimental, rapper Loyle Carner and electronic artist Jamie XX.

Rory Bett, head of organisers Mama Festivals, said: “After a one-year hiatus, it has never been better to be back at Cornbury Park this summer. Thank you to the incredible crowd and the team who made Wilderness happen in just under six weeks; it couldn’t have happened without their dedication and support. We cannot wait to be back next year, looking forward to seeing you all in 2022.”

Oxford Mail: Wilderness 2021 Wilderness Festival

Henry Blofeld. Picture Andrew Hughes

The line-up also featured Kidlington reggae icon David Rodigan and Red Dwarf star-turned soul and funk DJ Craig Charles. As well as music, the festival saw acclaimed spoken word performances by award-winning actor Toby Jones; Blackadder and Time Team star Tony Robinson; Blackadder, Spitting Image and QI producer John Lloyd; Sherlock actresses Louise Brealey and Amanda Abbington; Hannah John-Kamen of Game of Thrones; actor Ferdinand Kingsley – the son of West Oxfordshire’s Ben Kingsley; Bridgerton star Phoebe Dynevor; and DJ and radio presenter Jo Whiley.

Other familiar faces included Oxford author Philip Pullman and comedian Simon Amstell.

A quirky cricket match between festival goers was presided over by legendary cricket commentator, Henry Blofeld.

Wilderness was one of the only major festivals to proceed this year, with most cancelling for a second time, including Truck Festival, in Steventon, Cornbury Festival in Great Tew, Riverside in Charlbury, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention near Banbury, and Oxford’s Cowley Road Carnival. Higher profile casualties included Glastonbury and WOMAD.

Oxford Mail: Wilderness 2021 Wilderness Festival

Philip Pullman. Picture by Andrew Hughes

Its success in staging a safe event paves the way for many more large events, including Reading Festival and the Big Feastival – the gathering hosted by Blur bassist Alex James on his farm in Kingham, near Chipping Norton on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Among those enjoying the event was White Lines and Guardians of the Galaxy star Laura Haddock; Doctor Who and The Serpent actress Jenna Coleman; and Humans, Crazy Rich Asians and Captain Marvel star Gemma Chan.

Read more: 20,000 flock to county's first festival for almost two years

Highlights included a mass pretend wedding, with couples who may have missed out on their chance to tie the knot over the pandemic, marching down the aisle while being serenaded by the Wilderness House Orchestra and Sunday Assembly choir – both made up of festival goers.

A spokesman said: “It was a celebration of love, that brought together thousands on our final afternoon in Cornbury Park.”